|February 9, 2009
Audi Tradition Displays the Family Silver
Audi Tradition’s annual programme for 2009 is centred on the Audi centenary. More than 50 events have been planned. Two dates are especially significant: on 16 July 2009, exactly 100 years after the company was established, Audi is inviting guests to a commemorative ceremony in Ingolstadt; Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel has already agreed to attend. Not to be missed by every enthusiast and friend of the Audi brand: the largest historic motor sport event in the world – the Goodwood Festival of Speed in England, where Audi will be putting in a special appearance as ‘featured marque’.
When Lord March invites guests to his country estate in East Sussex from 3 to 5 July, Audi Tradition will bring along just about every car built by Audi that has played a significant role on the world’s racetracks during the past 100 years. This is the first occasion on which even the company’s ‘family silver’ will be brought out from the Audi museum mobile: the Auto Union Type C Streamline, a unique, authentic replica of the car in which Bernd Rosemeyer attempted to break the world speed record in 1937, reaching over 400 km/h on an ordinary road. Also on static display at Goodwood will be the first-ever Audi competition car, the Audi Type C Alpine Cup winner dating from 1919. Vehicles in action on the circuit will be Auto Union Type C (1936) and Type D (1938) Silver Arrows, the legendary Audi Pikes Peak (1987) and IMSA GTO (1989) cars, the R8 and R10 sports cars that were victorious in Le Mans and various STC and GTM championship contenders.
In 2009, Audi Tradition will also be entering rallies such as the Silvretta Classic (2 to 5 July), the Ennstal Classic (15 to 18 July) and the Gran Premio Nuvolari (18 to 20 September). A very special highlight awaits visitors to the historic Grand Prix in Berne, which takes place from 21 to 23 August. For the first time after more than 70 years, an Auto Union Type C racing car will be seen on the former Swiss racing circuit. Audi Tradition is principal sponsor of the Danube Classic in Ingolstadt (18 to 20 June), the Heidelberg Historic (9 to 11 July), the Audi Eastoric in Hungary (27 to 30 August) and the Eifel Classic Rally held at the Nürburg Ring (1 to 3 October). And of course the AUDI AG department responsible for historical matters will also be attending the world’s largest classic-car fair, the Techno Classica in Essen (2 to 5 April), which this year features the Audi brand as its main topic.
‘100 years of Audi’ – the brand’s centenary has naturally influenced the special exhibitions organised at the Audi museum mobile in Ingolstadt. There will be three of these, starting on 12 March with the earliest Audi vehicles still in existence. Visitors will be able to see no fewer than twelve of these Audi models dating from the company’s early years, including the only surviving Type A – the very first Audi model – built in 1910 and loaned to Audi Tradition by the National Technical Museum in Prague. From the end of July to the end of November 2009, there will be a ‘family meeting’ of legendary rally cars from the memorable Group B period in the 1980s. This stationary display will be the first encounter between the world-champion Audi quattro vehicles and their rivals since that time.
Last but not least, a special exhibition entitled ‘Family Silver – the Era of the Silver Arrow Grand Prix Cars’ will be staged from the end of November 2009 to the end of February 2010. It celebrates yet another highlight: the 75th anniversary of the Silver Arrows. As a result, these priceless racing cars will not only be on display at Audi Tradition events but will also be given a show of their own at the Audi museum mobile. Six Auto Union Silver Arrows will be seen together – more than at any time since the 1930s. They will be accompanied by their former ‘brothers and sisters’ from that great era when supercharged cars raced against one another. Audi Tradition is looking forward to welcoming historic racing cars entered by its then rivals, Mercedes-Benz and Alfa Romeo.
In 2009 the Audi company, established by August Horch on 16 July 1909, will celebrate its hundredth anniversary. The four rings of the Audi badge symbolise the brands Audi, DKW, Horch and Wanderer, which were combined under the umbrella of Auto Union in 1932. Auto Union and NSU, which merged in 1969, made many significant contributions towards the development of the car. AUDI AG was formed from Audi NSU Auto Union AG in 1985. Together with the two traditional companies Auto Union GmbH and NSU GmbH, Audi Tradition nurtures and presents the deep and diverse history of Audi. The Audi museum mobile at the Audi Forum Ingolstadt is open daily from Monday to Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The August Horch Museum in Zwickau is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 9.30 a.m. to 5 p.m.